The prison is run by HMPS as part of the South West Region. It has a capacity of 505 and the #1governor is called James Lucas who has been in charge since July 2019.
The prison was originally built in 1883, but there have been numerous additions, extensions and renovations since that time. It serves the courts of Bristol and the South West; most of the prisoners remain at Bristol for less than 12 months.
- A wing: 126-bed wing, general population.
- B wing: 99 single cells, mainly enhanced or super-enhanced prisoners. No in-cell sanitation.
- C wing: 148-bed wing, incorporating the first night centre, integrated drug treatment system/drug recovery and a dedicated detoxification unit on C3. Reverse cohort unit and PIU are also located on C wing.
- D wing and F wing annex: 116-bed wing containing the induction centre. D wing is for vulnerable prisoners.
- E wing: 11-bed dedicated segregation wing, with two additional unfurnished cells.
- G wing: 125-bed wing, general population.
- Brunel unit: reintegration unit holding prisoners with complex mental and physical health need.